Feeling toxic? Cleanse your diet and lifestyle the kind way
Perhaps you can’t escape the smog, but your daily diet and routine may also be impacting your toxic load – and they are things you really can make steps to change.
Be kind to your body and help bring things into balance by adopting some new habits that help support a detoxifying environment in the body.
You may feel the recommendations are common sense - but ask yourself how many are you actually managing to achieve on a regular basis?
If you have lots to work on, don’t try to do everything at once – pick off three habits to focus on for starters. And once you have got to grips with those, introduce three more.
1. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. Aim for seven portions of colourful or leafy green vegetables as these provide the nutrients necessary to help support the body’s natural detoxification processes. Introduce more asparagus, spinach, avocado and squash, as these contain a plant version of glutathione, an important detoxification agent. When selecting fruits, include some dark berries such as raspberries and blueberries for their antioxidant properties.
2. Eat in moderation. Dramatically under-eating or over-eating may place an unnecessary burden on the body. Rather than ‘starve’ or ‘stuff’, moderate your portion sizes to help keep yourself leaner and cleaner. If you have a tendency to over-eat, eat more slowly and learn when to stop - usually when you are about 80% full.
3. Go organic. Try this - as much as is possible! This will help minimise your exposure to chemical fertilisers, insecticides and herbicides used on plants, and also growth hormones and antibiotics in meats and animal produce such as dairy.
4. Cut out processed foods. By keeping things ‘real’ you will by default slash a lot of gluten, sugar, artificial sweeteners and trans fats from your diet. Processed foods are ‘fake foods’ and are generally nutrient-poor, plus they may give the body an overload of problematic compounds to deal with.
5. Drink plenty of fluid, focussing on filtered water and tea. Aim for 8 glasses a day to help keep the kidneys clean! Tap water can be riddled with substances such as chlorine, fluorine compounds, trihalomethanes (THMs), hormones, pesticides and prescription drug traces – so filtered or water in glass bottles are the ideal choices. Green tea is a detox favourite because it is rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps protect the body’s cells from damaging free radicals.
6. Keep moving. Exercise regularly to the point of sweating. The skin is one of our major elimination organs, and sweating helps promote the circulation of the blood and lymph. If you are seated in an office a lot, make sure you get up regularly for a quick stretch or walk around.
7. Rethink your skincare routine. When we lather up or slap on regular skincare or beauty products, we expose ourselves to hundreds of chemicals which can pass through skin and directly enter the blood stream. Because they bypass the liver our body doesn’t even have a chance to detoxify them! Think about the products you use the most regularly or on the largest areas of your body, and consider swapping them out for 100% natural alternatives. Using a loofah or skin brush on dry skin will help remove dead cells and may improve circulation.
8. Limit unnecessary dietary supplements. Sometimes less is more, and over-using supplements doesn’t equate to better health. It may even create another toxic burden for the body. Review your supplement strategy and make sure your supplements serve a purpose and are high quality brands.
9. Address any emotional issues that cause you long-term or chronic stress. In some people this can lead to unhealthy habits such as over-eating, under-eating or poor food choices, as well as disturbed sleeping (impacting on our body’s recovery time), altered immune function, and an excess of stress hormones amongst other undesirable bodily reactions, all of which may contribute to impaired detoxification over time.